Change Your Story, Change Your Outcome
be.group, a 2014 Association Media &
Publishing EXCEL Award winner, switched from a reliance on local print and
outreach campaigns (outbound marketing) to a focus on its website (inbound
marketing) and boosted site traffic by 55 percent and web conversions by 700
By Brittany Trevick
spending millions of dollars on advertisements and receiving zero return on
investment. Now imagine turning your marketing approach on its head, focusing
on the consumer rather than the product, and creating a tremendously successful
exactly what be.group, a senior living community provider in California did
with the help of Imagination Publishing, a Chicago-based content marketing firm
whose mission is creating personalized content for customers and clients. be.group,
a 2014 Association Media & Publishing EXCEL Award winner, switched from a
reliance on local print and outreach campaigns (outbound marketing) to a focus
on its website (inbound marketing) and boosted site traffic by 55 percent and web
conversions by 700 percent.
Herrnreiter, senior director, digital marketing intelligence at Imagination
Publishing, outlined this case study during his
presentation, "The Right Content Delivers Acquisition and Engagement," at the
Association Media & Publishing Chicago Conference on November 18 at the
American Dental Association.
marketing is very expensive, not effective, and perishable," says Herrnreiter.
Inbound marketing, however, "is helpful and findable through the creation and
distribution of relevant and valuable content."
be.groupís marketing tactics and create personalized content for its customers,
Imagination Publishing focused on four main points. The first was building an
audience persona. "The key is to really understand the customerís goals," says
Herrnreiter. "What is it the customer wants to get?"
Publishing helped be.group discover more about its audience by creating three
primary personas with each having its own specific needs. The groups were
70-plus seniors, their adult children, and professionals such as physicians and
real estate agents.
organization determined each group needed specific targeting. From there, be.group
created a buyer journey for each individual group to understand their
decision-making process and what answers they needed with regards to selecting
a senior living community.
has a discovery to make on their journey to solve a problem," says Herrnreiter. "You canít create content if you donít know what the customer is asking."
70-plus age group was evangelistic about community benefits. They were looking
for an organization that could convey the positives about a senior living
community and instill in them emotions regarding the organization. The adult
children wanted to guide their loved ones to a community that would take care
of them and that they would enjoy. Lastly, the professionals wanted an
organization they could recommend to their clients.
creating these three unique personas, Imagination developed a site design that
educated each audience group with the specific answers they were looking for.
They started by breaking the website into four steps: Finding the Right Fit,
Choosing a Community, Making it Happen, and Why the Right Fit?
step, site visitors receive multiple pieces of content uniquely designed to
dispel senior living myths and educate them. The site was built on this
journey, but its frequent use by an audience of seniors was also kept in mind.
Larger font sizes, muted colors, and easily understood tools help visitors
part of the journey included the creation of content. This information centers
on related topics to help each persona feel confident in their decisions
regarding senior living. Downloadable forms on the site collect relevant user
data, while email campaigns keep site users looped in on be.group content. Printable guides are available
so seniors and other visitors can print out information and peruse it on their
own time. Videos, photos, resources, and quizzes are also available on the
further enhance the site experience, be.group featured existing residents as
reliable sources to show potential customers the positive aspects of joining
the community. This information made the site more interesting, allowing
potential senior customers to be excited about joining. Creating something
exciting for a brand is vital to attracting customers, Herrnreiter says.
may want trends, but they want a story," he adds. "You need to humanize the
brand and not be dry."
Imagination team needed to align the marketing and sales team; they wanted the
sales team to buy into what the marketing team was doing. To do that, they
started passing information on prospects to the sales team after they believed
that person had consumed enough content. After receiving the information, the
team continues connecting with the prospect, doing such things as scheduling a
tour of the community. Including the sales team at this key stage allowed be.group
to continue creating positive perceptions of its brand for its audience and
turning those prospects into residents.
be.group changed its advertising from outbound marketing to inbound marketing
and experienced huge amounts of success, which continues today.
and organizations looking to obtain the same type of success need to rework
their strategy and ask themselves what their audience truly needs and how they
can use inbound marketing to help customers along the decision-making process, Herrnreiter
marketing is a bullhorn approach to reaching your audience. Itís one message
for everyone in the room," he says. "Be a magnet rather than a bullhorn and
pull people in instead of pushing them away."
Brittany Trevick is the assistant content editor at American College of Healthcare
Executives. Association Media & Publishing sincerely thanks her for
covering this event for our members who were unable to attend.